We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Best Japanese in DC”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Makoto Restaurant

Makoto Restaurant
Ranked #626 of 3,196 Restaurants in Washington DC
Price range: $40 - $40
Cuisines: Japanese, Sushi, Asian
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best Japanese in DC”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2013

Makoto is a really authentic Japanese restaurant. Yes - they serve sushi and sashimi, and the quality of the fish is outstanding - but that's not what makes Makoto unique. Instead its the elaborate Kaiseki meals. Makoto is moderately to quite expensive in the evening, depending on how much fish you order, and Sake can easily break the bank here. But for lunch you can get a sense of the same at an unbelievable bargain price if you order the bento box - this is much more than the box, and is preceded by mussel soup, several small dishes, the bento box with four dishes, good quality rice, followed by miso soup and a Grand Marnier granita, all for $25 and served by waitresses dressed in traditional Japanese clothing, with endless cups of good quality tea, and impeccable, although a bit formal, service. I've been coming here for years and the mussel soup (made one order at a time) and Grand Marnier granita seem to be invariant (and good), but everything else is seasonal, and changes every few months. There are multiple other options available for lunch, most of which are less expensive, and principally expertly grilled fish in place of the bento box, with the same soups and small dishes. To supplement these you can order Sushi and Sashimi, and Sake, but then the price climbs very rapidly. Most people seem to order from the standard menu at lunch. I don't understand how they make money at lunch, and believe there's an element of love driving this service. Reservations are a very good idea, and often they are fully booked on the weekend. You will read from others about the etiquette quirks here; its fine with me and part of the experience.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MLMET
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

92 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    59
    25
    4
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Florida
Level Contributor
29 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Extraordinary Dining Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2013

Two of us ate at Makoto and had the $70 tasting menu. Really a wonderful experience and almost more food than we could manage - well worth the splurge. Each of the 8 courses is unique, full of flavor and exquisitely presented. The fried soft shell crab in a chunky rice cracker crust may be the best single course I have ever had anywhere - a perfection of cooking technique and taste. Don't be hesitant if you are not completely familiar with Japanese food or dining, the service is welcoming, helpful and gracious. The restaurant is small, traditional Japanese and the small wooden seats take a little getting used to but are part of the experience of having a top class Japanese meal in an authentic setting. You'll be so busy savoring each taste you won't notice the seats.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DCRBS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
278 reviews
195 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“Great food! Service could have been more Japanese!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2013 via mobile

The 9-course was delightful and full of unique creation. The sashimi was extremely fresh. We ordered the special sashimi with lobster and Tuna belly (o/toro) and Uni. We splurged on the sashimi a bit as the slices were quite small and limited.

Sushi was a bit disappointing as the rice was soggy. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal.

The service while great by US standard can be more Japanese like with attention to details.

And in Japan, tipping is not needed to get great service.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank chinaren_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Worthy of reputation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2013

I've known about Makoto for years and finally had dinner there on a whim. We didn't have a reservation but the restaurant was able to accommodate us at the bar. This is a gem of a place for foodies who like to linger and savor the thoughtfully prepared 9 course meal. Fresh, creative, and balanced dishes. The service was attentive and welcoming. Servers answered all my questions about the menu. Not at all snooty. One of the best meals I've had in DC.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank fanjaneausten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A great restaurant hidden in DC”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2013

I had lunch a this restaurant and it was fantastic. Everything was fresh, well-prepared, and flavorful. It definitely does not feel like you are in a restaurant in DC. It is very small - only a handful of tables and some seats at the bar. You leave your shoes at the door and wear slippers that they provide inside. The service is very good. I would have to agree with some of the other reviews that the service can be a little snooty. There is also a lot of hovering and it makes you feel less at ease. I definitely would have given this five stars if the servers were hovering a little less. I was also surprised that there was nothing particularly interesting in their selection of sashimi. That being said, what I had was outstanding and I would rather have fresh than anything else!

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Travelster22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Makoto Restaurant also viewed

 

Been to Makoto Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing